These are always fun. Why? Well because moving even 1 or two takes some planning. You have to make sure where your moving them is setup, no fence breakage, water is setup, corral is setup, etc. And when calves are involved you never know what will happen. Moving older cattle is just a matter of planning, like i said, making sure everything is ready in the new pasture. Moving calves, there is no planning, you just hope they decide to follow the momma’s. Over the last few year we have learned that calves are a pain in the rear. They are sporadic, unpredictable demons.
Where as the older cows know what you want them to do or go, and you know that when you put grain in the bucket they will come, or when you open the trailer gate, they will walk in, the calves do the exact opposite of what you want. Calves are skittish and awnery. They would just as soon kick you in the balls than let you touch or get near them. So you have to be slow and patient when they are in open field and already have their momma in the corral and satisfied. We made the mistake one time, i repeat one time, of putting several calves we just weaned in a field by themselves with no older trained cattle. They were fine until it came time to corral and load them up, took us several hours of running and looking stupid before we finally got them in the coral. I would say we weren’t cussing the cows but that would be lieing and cussing ourselves later when we came to the realization that older cows should always be around the calves. That won’t happen again.
So we moved 4 cows and 3 calves Saturday at one of the properties we graze. This property is split in two sections, a small 1 or 2 acres in the front that is tall and thick, and the section at the rear of the property about 12 acres. The 2 sections are about 1000 feet apart split by the owners house and yard. No fencing between so we have to trailer the cattle and drive them that 1000′ feet. Easy right? For the most part, yes. But but for every easy there is always something that goes awry. In this case to get load or unload the cattle the trailer is backed up to the gate through a ditch. Placed just right everything works fine. At least that was the thought. Backed the trailer into the just right spot the gate opens and closes freely without hitting the ground as well as not making the cows step up, they like smooth level transitions. Well the opened nicely enough, but we generally only 2 or three cows when trailer. Got all 7 in and at almost 6000lbs of non stationary objects the trailer sits lower than normal. You guessed it the trailer wouldn’t close.
We spent the next few minutes trying to force the gate and trying to keep the cows in someplace they really didn’t wanna be. After about 15 mins of jockeying the cows in and out enough to let the gate shut we finally got it closed Always something.
We were not originally planning on moving any cows this weekend but rather next weekend. But we got a call from one of friends saying that they were bring the bull back within the hour. We share this bull 50/50 throughout the year, usually 6 months each. We want the bull at that property but we didn’t wanna drop him in the front and then have to move him next weekend. And we could not put him in the back section by himself. So in a flurry we just moved all the cows.
So at the end of it everyone is happy if not tired. Bull is happy to be back with the end of year harem, and the ladies are happy to have their bull back.